Minnesota United FC takes part in the first Final of the Western Conference, shocking No. 1 at Sporting Kansas City, winning the Audi 2020 MLS Cup Playoffs semifinals Thursday night.
Emanuel “Bebelo” Reynoso had three assists, putting Kevin Molino on two shots in the first half, then fired a corner that Bakaye Dibassy headed home with a 12-minute blast in the first 45 minutes. Dayne St. Clair made some key records early on, allowing the Loons to silence the crowds at Children’s Mercy Park shortly thereafter.
Molino won 1-0 in the 27th minute after Reynoso lost, breaking through Sporting’s backline with a combination before calmly passing goalkeeper Tim Mela.
The quality of Molino and Reynoso was revealed when Minnesota opened the lead 2-0 in the 35th minute. The former Boca Juniors midfielder slammed his left foot into the Trinidad-Tobago international, who fired a right-footed volley as he followed a pass over his shoulder and kicked the ball out of the far post.
Just four minutes later, Dibassy slammed home with a Reynoso corner cross to seal the 3-0 victory by beating Winston Reid to the intersection in Sporting’s zonal marking system.
Sporting was not without a chance, especially in the first stages. Johnny Russell crushed St. Clair in the second minute, but central defender Michael Boxall’s head shot secured the goal line break. St. Clair also struck his head in close proximity to Roberto Puncec on the 15th minute, keeping the ball just a few centimeters to prevent Russell from escaping on the 14th minute.
- 27 ‘- MIN – Kevin Molino | WATCH
- 35 ‘- MIN – Kevin Molino | WATCH
- 39 ‘- MIN – Bakaye Dibassy | WATCH
- BIG PICTURE: Minnesota is in their fourth year of MLS club and now they are one game away from competing for the 2020 MLS Cup. The 2019 season featured a Round One exit, but they have reloaded and rubbed the injuries list this season like no other. Sports-wise they were under pressure to be number 1 seed and were unable to deliver. Star striker Alan Pulido was unhealthy after a long wait and you have to wonder how SKC would have handled him.
- GAME TIME: Kevin Molino’s second goal is pure class. Whether it was a jagged pass to the top or Molino’s peach finish, he gave Minnesota a 2-0 lead and gave them cruise control.
- MATCH MEN: Emanuel “Bebelo” Reynoso became the first ever MLS player to record multiple play-offs with three assists. He did so in subsequent matches, including a 3–0 first-round win by Minnesota against the Colorado Rapids. Stretch even further as Reynoso assisted on 10 of Minnesota’s last 12 goals, a regular season stat.
– OptaJack⚽️ (@OptaJack) December 4, 2020
- SKC: End of the season
- MIN: Monday December 7 – Seattle Sounders (9:30 PM ET | FS1, FOX Deportes in the US; TSN, TVA Sports in Canada) | Final of the Audi 2020 MLS Cup Playoffs Western conference